Shelley James

Doctor of Clinical Psychology, (Doctor of Clinical Psychology)
Study Completed: 2013
College of Humanities & Social Sciences


Thesis Title
Has Cutting Become Cool? Normalising, Social Influence and Socially-Motivated Deliberate Self-Harm in Adolescent Girls

Read article at Massey Research Online: MRO icon

Ms James investigated the normalisation of deliberate self-harm in adolescent girls and also explored whether social factors influenced the motivation to engage in self-harm. Results showed that there was no one reason for engaging in deliberate self-harm but that a self-perception of vulnerability and low levels of parent influence were more common among those who self-harmed. Socially-motivated self-harmers did not harm exclusively for social reasons, were more susceptible to peer pressure and endorsed higher levels of normalisation of self-harm than did other self-harmers. While deliberate self-harm was not normalised or considered “cool”, neither was it solely the domain of the disenfranchised or those with serious mental health problems.

Dr Richard Fletcher
Dr Heather Kempton